Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) expects President Barrack Obama to issue an executive order on immigration reform in December.
“I think that there are certain things that will be done, [but] we just have to wait until the election is over. As I understand it, [the EO on immigration reform] will come out before the holidays, the holiday being Christmas because elections in the country will not end until Dec. 6,” he told Saipan Tribune after voting at Garapan Elementary School last Nov. 4.
In an earlier interview, Sablan said that immigration reform through an executive order is inevitable before the end of the year.
“Obviously the President will probably sometime after Dec. 6 issue an executive order as promised to provide some relief to many in the country, the entire nation. To how many I don’t know and obviously it’s not for 14 million people. But it will provide some kind of relief to many people who will include those in the Northern Marianas.”
Last Saturday, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services extended the parole program for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and certain “stateless” individuals until Dec. 31, 2016.
Sablan said that, as a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, he is privy to internal talks on immigration reform in Washington, D.C.
“Membership in the caucus is, you don’t just walk in and say you want to be a member. You have to apply and you have to get voted on. Fortunately, I was accepted and I’ve been a member for six years. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus takes the lead in anything immigration in the House. Those points of memorandum that the President is considering actually came from us.”
He said even as elections are going on in the country last week, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus was busy talking with President Obama’s advisers about immigration reform.
“As we speak they have tasked a smaller group of members working with the Secretary of Homeland Security, working with the White House with Cecilia Munoz, and working the President’s chief counsel on what needs to be done.”
In a report in Huffington Post, President Obama said Sunday that he will pursue an executive order on immigration reform and that congressional Republicans can take further action if they so please.
“I’m going to do what I can do through executive action,” Obama said on CBS’ Face the Nation. “It’s not going to be everything that needs to get done. And it will take time to put that in place.”
The Senate already passed a bipartisan bill on comprehensive immigration reform last year, but the House of Representatives’ inaction has forced the hand of Obama to once and for all find a solution to the problem through presidential decree.